Illustrated infographic of leaders and managers enacting their strengths in an office setting.

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[Infographic Transcript]

Great leaders can fill the role of a manger, but not all managers can be a good leader. Both roles within a business are pertinent to the company’s success, but there are key differences between the two.


Leaders focus on mentoring and leading by example, and they work with their employees to develop their personal strengths and abilities.

Look for ways to change and better the business

  • Leaders are always looking to expand, grow, and change operations. This can mean taking calculated risks and betting they will pay off in the future by benefiting the company.

Think about long-term ways to grow

  • Leaders think about all the ways the company could be different and better in the long run, even if it means sacrificing production short-term.

Focus on the people

  • Leaders primarily focus on their team and make sure members feel valued and appreciated. In turn, quality work is produced.

Coach employees

  • Leaders work with a charismatic style to encourage and motivate their employees. This can mean brainstorming goals and motivating employees to think outside the box.

Think about vision and strategy

  • Leaders focus on big picture ideas to create an overall culture within a workplace.
  • Leaders seek to implement company-wide strategies that improve efficiency and boost production.

The majority of employees don’t site their leaders as being trustworthy. (1)


Managers focus on day-to-day operations and ensure the company runs smoothly.

Stick to the status quo

  • Managers maintain operations by preventing risks and preserving system-wide order.

Focus on the short-term needs for the company

  • Managers focus on meeting all necessary goals in the short-term, even if it means missing out on potential growth.

Focus on departmental issues within the organization

  • Rather than focusing on company-wide culture, the manager will worry about the functioning of his assigned department.
  • Managers give specific instructions, focus on tasks, and approve projects and ideas.

Focus on policies and procedures

  • Managers focus on rules, policies, and procedures to keep order and ensure maximum performance.
  • Managers account for at least 70% of variance in employee engagement scores across business units.

Becoming a Better Leader

Whether your style aligns better with leadership or management qualities, Malone University has an online degree program for you. You can pursue an online organizational management degree and a master’s in organizational leadership online.

Both degrees will help you put your strengths to good use and advance your career.